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review 2017-09-28 18:45
Mystery Road by Kevin Lucia
Mystery Road - Kevin Lucia


Mystery Road is a beautifully written, poignant story about a man caring for his dying father and the memories that suddenly return to him after decades of forgetfulness. 


Kevin Ellison recalls the day he was riding his bike to the local basketball court when he was 12. A road appeared. But he went to play basketball nearly every day, taking the same route, and has never noticed this road before. Where does it go and what does he find there? You'll have to read this novella and find out for yourself. 


I loved this story!  Even though I had an inkling of where it was going to go once events started to occur, I didn't guess all of it, and I still enjoyed the getting there. (In fact, the getting there was the best part.) Exploring the emotions of losing a parent, and of learning more about a parent's life before they had children-these are heavy subjects. But Mr. Lucia gets down in there, digging deep, and I'm not ashamed to say that I had a tear in my eye by the time I finished this sweet novella. 


Highly recommended!


*This book will be available as a limited edition through Cemetery Dance Publications' Novella Series. I wish I could tell you when and provide a link, but alas, I cannot. I will update this review when the information becomes available. I was provided a paperback ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*



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text 2017-09-24 18:24
For Fear of the Night - Charles L. Grant
For Fear of the Night - Charles L. Grant

The term "quiet horror" gets thrown around everytime you read any review of a Charles Grant story. What exactly is quiet horror. Simply put, its a moniker created by Charlie himself, as a way to describe his writing style. Quiet horror is a slow crescendo of dread that builds in the story. It's subtle, not in your face. Its a creepy feeling that something isn't right. It's also not for the person who has the attention span of a highly caffeinated squirrel with ADD. You're not going to find blood spattered on every page of a Grant story. Nor will you find non-stop action. This isn't a Marvel comic. Grant's stories are all about the ride and not necessarily the destination. Patience is key. If you have it, chances are you'll see what he's trying to create and you'll enjoy it. Now, is every one of his stories a hit? No. But, there is always a certain level of quality in every Grant tale. For Fear of the Night is no exception. Is it his best? No, again.



As Labor Day nears, a group of teenagers are preoccupied with the big changes that have already shaped their lives and the ones that are about to. Going off to college looms in around the corner. Couples are about to become apart and wonder whats in store for them. Career decisions have to be made. Their friend, Julie, was recently killed in a fire that happened in a building near the pier. Devin, the groups older photography friend, receives a message on his answering machine from their dead friend. Was it really her? Is it some sick prank? He doesn't know, but it sparks off the mystery of what really happened to Julie.



For Fear of the Night is not Grant's strongest story. Very little action happens for the first 100 pages. It's his typical slow burn. The storytelling and atmosphere are still there. The ending strikes me as a bit muddied and leaves more questions than answers. If I were looking to read Grant for the first time, this wouldn't be the one I'd start with. But, if you're looking for that quiet horror that he specializes in, you could do a lot worse.



3 Popped Balloons out of 5



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review 2015-06-29 16:40
Through a Mirror, Darkly review
Through a Mirror, Darkly - Kevin Lucia

I've seen the name Kevin Lucia dance through my feed on quite a few occasions, so it was with mild interest I heard about the release of his new collection of stories through Brian Keene's The Horror Show podcast and decided to give it a shot.

And I'm glad I did.

Lucia here collects four novella length tales that are presented via a wrap-around tale much like the quality anthology movies of old. All the stories take place in and around Lucia's small town creation of Clifton Heights. Though the wrap-around only really provides the context and can't be considered a story in its own right, it does seem to have allusions to early works by Lucia - though I will have to check that out when I inevitably go on the hunt for his back catalogue. And hunt I shall, because this is a quality collection of tales: Three of which I found to very good to excellent, with just the one falling into the category of average.

Commencing with SUFFER THE CHILDREN COME UNTO ME, Through a Mirror, Darkly sets itself as a slow-burn of a horror collection that eschews blood and gore for slight chills down the spine. That sensibility remains through Lucia's second tale, YELLOW CAB, which for mine was the most disturbing of the lot - a dark, unsettling read that implies a great deal before finally spelling out the central mystery and allowing the full consequences of that to take root in the reader's mind. The third tale, ADMIT ONE, was my least favourite, but served to further cement the link between the stories being the mythical city of Carcosa. This one was a little long and too light on the horror to really be effective for me. But Lucia more than made up for it with his final tale, AND I WATERED IT, WITH TEARS. This was a very effective chiller that was probably the most familiar of the tales, but only until the real pathos underlying the events comes to light.

If Through a Mirror, Darkly is any indication, Lucia is an quality new writer who excels playing in the sandbox left behind by some of the grand masters of horror, Charles L Grant included. His prose is top notch, his characterisations the core of his work, and his horror is of the most disquieting kind. I very much look forward to reading more of his work and would strongly recommend fans of more subtle horror do the same.

3.5 Mysteriously Appearing Journals for Through a Mirror, Darkly.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1301334060?book_show_action=false
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text 2014-08-08 07:07
Reading progress update: I've read 93 out of 590 pages.
Ghost Story - Peter Straub

This is my second time trying to reread this book this year, and things are going much smoother. I tried the audio book back in May, but ended up putting it down. I guess this is one of those stories you just have to read to appreciate. 

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review 2014-07-28 18:00
The Delicate Dependency by Michael Talbot

This book was fantastic!


Set in the Victorian era, this story quietly kicks the crap out of the vampire novels of today.  Beautifully written with an intriguing plot  and unique characters, I can't say enough about how enjoyable this book was.



Doctor Gladstone, a scientist in London during the Victorian era, accidentally ran over a man who walked in front of his carriage. Due to this man's, (Niccolo's), resemblance to someone Doctor Gladstone once saw in a painting, (and due to his vague suspicions as to Niccolo's true nature),  this stranger is invited into Gladstone's home. Before you know it, one of Dr. Gladstone's daughters, Camille, has been kidnapped and the adventure begins.


This is a vampire story, but these are not vampires you've read about before. Unlike Rice's or King's, these vamps have been around for millennia. What are their true motives, why have they kidnapped Camille, and what do they plan to do with her? You will have to read this to find out.


With pacing that at times is slow and at other times at breakneck speeds, this story captures the reader and drags them along. Even the slow paced periods were interesting, because the reader is constantly learning new facts, but is unsure as to where they fit into the big picture. Like a jigsaw puzzle with unusually shaped pieces. With fun train and carriage chases, crazy plot twists and flat out "Oh My God" moments, this novel was a real treat.


This is a book of quiet horror. If you are looking for lots of blood and gore, this tome is not for you. However, if you're looking for a literary piece with depth and meaning...look no further.(I would equate this work to the excellent literary horror of the 80's-such as Peter Straub's "Ghost Story", for example.) Well written, (with a vocabulary that forced me to use my Kindle dictionary quite a bit), this book delivers not only a quiet horror story, but also fodder for the mind. I found the concepts that were introduced fascinating and fun to think about. To what would you devote your life if you were immortal?


Lastly, I would avoid reading the introduction until you're finished with the book. I read it after I was finished and was very glad that I did so, because almost  the entire plot is laid out there and I think it would have ruined my enjoyment of this tale.


Because I did find the pacing just a tad slow at a couple of points, I deducted half of one star. That is the only negative thing I have to say about this novel. Other than that, it comes with my highest recommendation to fans of dark fiction, gothic horror stories and quiet horror.



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